art journal

With this month’s kit theme being ‘Once upon a Story’ I thought it would be a good month to chat about art journals in a bit more depth.


Art journaling is something that I dip in and out of and that suits me. I like projects that I can easily pick up and put down. I also like something that I don’t always have to commit a certain amount of time to. I consider art journaling to be something that I do for me. Everything else like the scrapbooking, card making, project life. home decore projects are all there for others to see too, art journaling is just for me. I keep my journals in a box under a table in my studio. I do what I like when I like. I don’t worry about anyone else seeing them.

I find art journaling really therapeutic. I think of it as playtime. A time to experiment with new techniques, new materials and it’s a great way to use up scraps too. There are no rules and there are no rights or wrongs. No one else sees, so it really doesn’t matter. Sometimes I might just work with paints and create lots of backgrounds. It all depends on what mood I’m in, what I fancy playing with and how much time I have to spare.


I like to make up my own art journals. I pick up old books in charity/good will stores and have also picked up some great hardback books in The Works for just 99p. I’ll run through my process now of prepping a book and turning it from a reading book to an art journal.


1. Take your book.

2. You’ll need to tear a lot of the pages out to thin the book out. If you leave all the pages in, once you start adding bits the book with bulk out too much.

3. Once you’ve thinned out your book you need to start sticking the pages together to create thicker pages. I use either Mod Podge or pva glue to do this. I stick about 3/5 pages together at a time. Once the adhesive is dry, this will give you a good base to work on. Otherwise the pages are too thin and your mediums will just soak through.

4. Time to get creative.


You can have fun decorating your book covers. I love old books, so I usually like to see part of the old cover. They tend to have great texture. It seems such a shame to cover up completely.



So now you have a book and a cover, it’s time to start creating inside your new art journal. It’s rare that I have a plan. I just love to play and see where it leads to. Here is an example to show you.

1. Using a palate knife I’ve spread some pink acrylic paint in to the page. I’ve closed the book and pressed down which has given me a great coverage on the opposite page too.

2. I love good colour contrasts, so I’ve added this great green paint.

3. Using different items to apply your paints will get you different textures. I keep the sticks from any rubon sheets (like lolly sticks) and old credit cards work a treat to apply paint too.

When it comes to art journaling, I couldn’t be without my heat gun to dry off in between.

art j 3

There are some speech bubbles in the October Kit. These are great for title work on scrapbooking & PL pages, in your smash books, journals and of course art journals. It’s so fun to make your handwriting a little more interesting.

Start by writing your title very plain in pencil.  Now go over several times adding tails, flicks and joins to make it look joined up. Now go over in pen several times in the same way.


And now it’s time to journal. I’ve added other bits from this months kit to my pages.

Here are some other ways & ideas to journal creatively.

pages 1

1.Use up scrap papers and embellishments.

2. Draw, doodle, colour in.

3. Document your week.

4. Experiment with mists, inks and stamps.

pages 2

5. Use photos in your journals.

6. Play with paints.

7. Add favourite quotes.

8. Get messy.

9. Use stencils/masks

10. Try out different colour combinations

Like I said before, this is your journal. There are no rules, rights or wrongs. If you don’t like it. It’s paper. It’s not the end of the world. Relax and enjoy. That’s what it’s all about.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this today. I really love art journaling. It’s just so much fun!!